As companies continue to explore and develop strategies for employee engagement, new ideas and insights come to mind. By now, we’ve seen plenty of evidence that satisfaction in the workplace drives engagement, which in turn enhances business outcomes. The challenge for many companies, however, is striking that balance between happy employees and successful business outcomes without sacrificing either.
Key Points of Employee Engagement
To date, studies show that employee engagement increases when:
- Employees have a clear understanding of their role in company success
- Employees identify company success as their personal achievement
- Open lines of communication exist between management and staff
- Leaders value teamwork and opinions from all staff
- Employees have the right tools to perform their jobs and achieve team objectives
- Companies offer clears paths of advancement for personal fulfillment
When done well, these underlying principles foster an outstanding rise in business outcomes. In some cases, though, a company can employ all the best strategies for engagement but still miss out on improved business outcomes.
In these situations, the focus and purpose for engagement have been lost. The goal of engagement is to increase performance and job satisfaction in service to better business outcomes, not simply to improve company commitment.
Engagement is Both a Business and a People Strategy
Putting the personal into the professional can be a challenging goal. Employees want to feel that their company cares about them as individuals, not just successful workers. Stress, for instance, is one of the biggest health issues in the workplace.
Hitting all the success metrics does not automatically account for the emotional issues that employees experience in achieving their goals. Management teams that recognize the personnel are starting to see positive results by incorporating emotional intelligence into their engagement strategies.
A recent Harvard Business Review study found that compassionate, not romantic, love drives personal satisfaction even at work. At their core, humans are social and caring beings. Making more personal connections in the workplace that focus on compassion, concern, support, and happiness improves morale regardless of industry.
Major companies have been bringing attention to the benefits of a positive emotional work culture. Whole Foods lists “love” as a guiding principle, while Pepsi includes “caring” within its mission statement. To achieve these goals in the context of employment, these brands share similar strategies.
Pride and Performance
While tangible rewards like bonuses, gifts, and other measurable items contribute to an employee’s drive to perform, the underlying emotional component of these rewards really matters more. Management that vocalizes the importance of employee performance and contribution sees higher satisfaction rates and accomplishments.
Teamwork Works Better
Companies that foster a sense of community among their people find that teamwork improves as a result. When teams are comprised of individuals that care about one another, they are more productive, collaborative, and successful.
By incorporating emotional intelligence into policies for workplace engagement, companies create cultures that acknowledge their employees as people. Leadership begins at the top, but support needs to be universally present. By demonstrating that management cares about staffers, employees will integrate those attitudes into their personal work ethic and demonstrate more compassion for their fellow co-workers.
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